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Biden and Stoltenberg discuss global challenges including Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: January 27, 2021)

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg spoke to US President Joe Biden on Tuesday night and agreed they need to work together on various global challenges including countering terrorism in Afghanistan.

In a statement issued by NATO, Stoltenberg congratulated Biden on his inauguration, and said “was a powerful demonstration of the strength of America’s democracy and the values we share, and the start of a new chapter for our transatlantic Alliance.”

Stoltenberg also welcomed Biden’s focus on rebuilding alliances, stressing that NATO is the place where Europeans and Americans meet every day and that together, “we can face challenges that none of our nations can face alone.”

The two agreed to work together on preparing the NATO Summit in Brussels later this year, where leaders will take decisions to make the Alliance even stronger, read the statement.

They also discussed the range of challenges that NATO Allies face, such as countering international terrorism, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, dealing with a more assertive Russia, and addressing the implications for the security of the rise of China.

Biden and Stoltenberg also affirmed their intention to work together on other global challenges such as climate change and the pandemic.

They stressed the need to maintain the momentum for increased defense spending, to keep Alliance nations safe.

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Ashraf Ghani found to have lied countless times during his tenure

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2021)

Ashraf Ghani, former president of Afghanistan, has been found to have lied dozens of times during his seven years in office and made as many, if not more, commitments which he failed to keep.

During the inauguration of Kamal Khan Dam in Nimroz province in March this year, Ghani said that Afghanistan will export electricity to Pakistan and India within five years.

This was said despite Afghanistan relying heavily on its neighbors for at least 70% of its power.

Afghans on Sunday slammed Ghani and branded him a liar and said one cannot believe a word he said.

According to Afghans, Ghani was a deceptive president.

In another instance, Ghani pledged to stay in his home country and to never leave.

Just weeks before Ghani fled the country he said: “Everyone is going, but I am not going. It is my home and it is my grave.”

The following is a short list of commitments made by Ghani that were not kept.

1- Ghani promised to create one millions jobs, but instead five million lost their jobs.
2- During a trip to Badghis province, Ghani promised to establish an academic college and a technical school in every district. This never happened.

3- He also pledged to allocate and give land to all teachers. Again this never happened.

4- He made promises to supply all districts in the country with electricity. Less than 9% of the rural population have electricity, while 75% of Afghans live in rural areas.

5-Ghani promised to end the bloodshed in the country countless times. This never happened under his rule.

6-He also vowed to build 6,000 schools. Nothing came of this.
8- Ghani also made numerous promises to make sure that every family had food on their tables – yet most soldiers went without pay for months.

Kabul residents are angry and have not only accused him stealing over $168 million dollars in cash as he fled the country on August 15 but also labeled him a complete liar.

“Every speech of Ashraf Ghani’s was a lie. He deceived the people of Afghanistan.

“None of his commitments were implemented,” said Mohamad Maseh, a Kabul resident.

Ghani made dozens of other commitments that he never achieved, which has had a profound impact on the lives of ordinary Afghans.

Teachers were not only promised land but housing as well. This never materialized, while Ghani also went back on his word when he said he would pay the salaries of civil servants from his own pocket if needed.

“Ghani deceived the people and told hundreds of lies and then fled,” said Rohid, a Kabul resident.

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Muttaqi says non-recognition of IEA govt is benefitting Daesh

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2021)

Turkey can play “an active role in investing, realizing some projects, renovating and restoring Afghanistan,” with the resources it possesses, according to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s new acting foreign minister.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency during his visit to the country this week, Amir Khan Muttaqi said the official recognition of his government and international aid held great importance to the recovery of the country’s economy.

While in Turkey, Muttaqi met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and discussed issues related to the official recognition of the IEA and the unfreezing by the US of Afghanistan’s assets.

Muttaqi said the freezing of reserves by the US after the IEA’s takeover, violated international law and human rights.

He stressed money blocked by the US was sent from other states for the development of Afghanistan.

“The real question is, why was this money blocked? What did the citizens of Afghanistan do?,” he asked.

“On the other hand, the US and other countries say that humanitarian aid should be given to Afghanistan and human rights should be respected. But, they leave the Afghan people with a population of about 40 million without basic necessities.”

However, he told Anadolu Agency that not recognizing the new government in Afghanistan benefits Daesh (ISIS-K) but dismissed concerns that the group was a threat to Afghanistan.

“They are carrying out attacks on mosques and streets. You will agree that it is not an easy task to ensure the safety of all mosques and streets. They do not own any place in Afghanistan,” he said adding that “the fact that the new state in Afghanistan is not officially recognized is beneficial to Daesh/ISIS.

“The countries of the world, on the one hand, say control the Afghan people so they do not emigrate. On the other hand, they do not officially recognize the government and give morale to Daesh/ISIS. This is in the interest of neither Afghanistan nor the world,” he said.

Turkey and the new administration in Afghanistan held their first high-level contact after the IEA took power on August 15.

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Merkel hopes Germany continues to work with Turkey

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(Last Updated On: October 17, 2021)

In a farewell visit to Turkey, outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country will continue to maintain a working relationship with Turkey, and stressed the need for continued cooperation on migration and other issues.

“The relationship between Turkey and Germany, with its positive and negative sides, will go on,” Merkel told reporters at a joint news conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the steps of Istanbul’s Dolmabache Palace.

“Everybody knows the security and independence of both our countries depends on each other.”

“We want to prevent human trafficking. It is essential … for the EU to support Turkey in this regard,” she said.

Merkel stressed that Turkey and Germany always have common interests, and added that this would be how the next federal government will see it.

Erdogan said Turkey would “always remember the good faith and the contribution” Merkel made towards maintaining ties with Turkey.

“From prevention of irregular migration from Syria, to dispatching humanitarian aid to northern Syria, on many topics Merkel did not abstain from taking the initiative and taking responsibility,” Erdogan said.

Merkel, who led Germany for 16 years, and Erdogan, who has led Turkey for 19 years, are perhaps the most seasoned political leaders in the region. At times, Merkel has pushed for maintaining ties with Turkey despite pressure at home over contentious issues such as migration and human rights.

Merkel is preparing to leave active politics later this year, but she will remain in her post until a new coalition government is formed.

Her Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) narrowly lost the general elections late last month.

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